Tom Brady Won Sunday’s Patriots Game All by Himself
When Gisele Bundchen was exiting Lucas Oil Stadium moments after the Patriots had lost to the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI, she snapped back at a heckling fan and said, “My husband cannot f—ing throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time.” The rant was in reference to a number of drops by Patriots receivers in the crushing defeat, and served as a reminder that Tom Brady can’t win football games by himself.
Except for Sunday’s contest against the New York Jets, that is.
Brady was responsible for all but one of the Patriots’ yards of offense in their come-from-behind 30-23 victory over the Jets at Gillette Stadium Sunday. In addition to throwing for 355 yards—150 of which came in the decisive fourth quarter—Brady led the Pats in rushing as well.
Brady on being the #Patriots leading rusher for the first time in his career: “I should probably enjoy this.”
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) October 25, 2015
One of Brady’s most impressive feats is how he’s actually improved his mobility as he’s aged. The man who ran the slowest 40-yard dash in NFL Combine history for a quarterback rushed for 12 yards in the Patriots’ game-tying touchdown drive in the second quarter, including an 11-yard scramble on a pivotal third down inside the Jets’ red zone. Brady leaped into the end zone on a QB sneak to cap off the possession, which the New York Times once described as the “Patriots’ most unstoppable play.”
The Patriots’ offense didn’t get going until the fourth quarter—partially because of dropped passes, and partially because they couldn’t get on the field. The Jets dominated the time of possession in the first half, holding the ball for nearly 19 of 30 minutes in the first two quarters. They converted 57 percent of their third downs against an overmatched Patriots secondary.
But if it weren’t for the 11 dropped passes, the Patriots would’ve probably blown out the Jets. Wide receiver Brandon LaFell coughed up six balls in his first game of the season, and Julian Edelman couldn’t hold onto a slant pass in the third quarter that hit him on the hands in the end zone. But unlike in Super Bowl XLVI, Brady was able to overcome his teammates’ mistakes.
It may be difficult for receivers to initially gain Brady’s trust, but once they do, he shows an incredible amount of faith in them. That was apparent with 10:47 remaining in the fourth quarter, when Brady went to Edelman on a 3rd-and-17 despite his drops earlier in the game. Edelman reeled in the pass for a 27-yard gain, and the Patriots scored the game-tying touchdown just five plays later. It was Brady’s first of two fourth quarter touchdown passes.
At 38 years old, Brady is on pace to have arguably the best season of his Hall of Fame career. He’s playing so well, in fact, he can now win games by himself—despite what Gisele may think.